Study of DME Injection in Oil Sands Reservoirs
Thus far Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) has been the sole commercially viable in-situ recovery method to extract Canadian oil sands that are too deep for mining. It involves high pressure steam injection and bitumen production using horizontal well pairs located near the base of oil sands formations. While it has enabled conversion of significant resources to reserves (about 170 billion barrels), SAGD has many economic and environmental limitations. The public and government want to see the negative aspects of SAGD reduced significantly. The Accelerate Cluster project is aimed at improving SAGD sustainability through the injection of DME to accelerate oil recovery rates, decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and renew the role of the Canadian oil industry as a competitive member of the global oil production families.